Was Karib Cable offering channels illegally?
July 18, 2014

Was Karib Cable offering channels illegally?

Following Flow’s revelation that it removed previously available channels from its lineup because of legal restrictions, the question now on the minds of many is whether Karib Cable was broadcasting said channels illegally.

Christopher Gordon, Flow’s country manager, admitted {{more}}that his company was “legally obligated” to remove that content, but declined to comment on whether the former cable television provider had been transmitting without permission.

“The reason we made changes to our line up is because we were legally obligated to do so,” stated Gordon.

At a press conference on Tuesday, July 14, Minister of Foreigh Affairs Camillo Gonsalves said that although he expressed his concern regarding Flow’s changes in lineup, he understands why it had to be done.

“While it is possible for a small enterprise to offer channels and not catch the attention of that channel, it is very difficult for a large corporation that exists all around the world to do the same,” he pointed out.

In total, 26 channels were discontinued, including hugely popular USA, AXN, Sony, WPIX, GSN, Cloo, MSNBC, CW11, OWN and Nickolodeon Jr.

Gordon explained that this is not unique to St Vincent and the Grenadines, and that similar changes have been made across all of Flow’s markets within the region – with the most recent being in St Lucia.

Vice president of sales and marketing (Eastern Caribbean) Shelly Ann Hee Chung, admitted that these changes resulted in disgruntled customers in the other regions as is currently happening locally.

She did, however, point out that as customers became more acquainted with the alternative options that Flow offered them, they began to realise they were getting more value for money. Both she and Gordon are “confident” that this will happen in St Vincent and the Grenadines, too.

Hee Chung said that a big part of customers’ dissatisfaction is that they believe they have lost their favourite programmes along with the channels.

“We have several programmes that are available on other stations,” she insisted. “Customers don’t know.”

Hee Chung stated that Flow will be publishing a list of popular programmes and the alternative channels that they are broadcast on, on its website and on Channel 100.

Even though the company has a team dedicated to compiling this list, she encouraged customers to call (570-3569 or 570-1600) or email (svg-getflow@columbus.co) to inform Flow of the programmes they enjoyed.

Hee Chung said that the list would take a while to compile, and that not every single programme would be able to be viewed on another channel.

In March 2013, Columbus International Inc. announced that it had acquired Karib Cable, which at the time was the leading system operator in SVG, St Lucia and Antigua.

Flow currently provides digital cable television, broadband internet and landline services in Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao, Latin America and now, the markets previously serviced by Karib Cable.(JSV)